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Thread: an introduction and a common dilemma

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    an introduction and a common dilemma

    Hi everyone,

    I am Joey, and I new to the forum. I’m 33 years old, newly married to a woman, and have been crossdressing since I was a very young boy, mainly in lingerie. I’ve continued to do this in secret over the years- often purchasing sexy lingerie and then throwing it away after a few days, feeling ashamed and “weird.” I am a very masculine man- bearded, athletic, avid ice hockey player, etc. No one in my life would ever suspect this side of me.

    I know there is a spectrum among crossdressers- some do it solely for sexual gratification and others do it because they feel they are inherently female or have a strong female side that needs to come out. My “need” (for lack of a better word) has been mostly sexual much of my life. Though I feel that may be changing somewhat…as a few weeks ago for the first time I wore a wig and makeup when my wife wasn’t home. The experience was exhilarating…and unlike prior times I have dressed, this time I didn’t throw my belongings away. So, regardless of where I fall on the spectrum, there is clearly a feminine side of me that needs to come out every now and then.

    As I have started coming to terms with this over the past few weeks, I have started to have mixed emotions about it, especially with regards to my wife (a very hot topic on this forum!). I never thought of telling anyone, let along my wife, about this side of me. In fact, I would say that for my whole life, I haven’t really been honest with myself about it. I’ve kind of just ignored and suppressed it over the years, which I guess I have realized feels quite lonely. This loneliness actually led me to getting an account on this forum, so I can have some release and talk freely about this part of me without embarrassment, shame, or denial. That being said, it has felt quite cathartic even typing these thoughts that will be read by other like-minded people. 😊

    I recently wrote a letter to my wife, explaining my crossdressing to her. It is honest, LONG, and genuine. I wrote it without the intention of giving it to her…I kind of just wanted to see what I would say and how it would feel. Now that I wrote it, I can’t stop thinking about giving it to her, which is terrifying. She is a progressive and caring woman, but I can also see her being freaked out and possibly ever disgusted. So it can honestly go either way. I am also wondering what the point of telling her is…? I guess on one hand, it would be a big step for me in that I will finally be acknowledging and embracing a part of myself I have denied for so long. Also, I feel like I am hiding something from my wife, and I want us to be open with other about anything. How can I lead a genuine life with her (and myself) if I keep this from her? I also don’t want to feel any guilt or shame, and I can’t see not feeling that way as long as she is in the dark about this. I think she would want to know, I just hope she won’t leave me for it. If that were to happen, I think I would forever wonder if telling her was worth it…perhaps I should just embrace a side of myself that is solely for ME, and not tell anyone else...

    Confused,

    Joey

    ps- I will post a pic of myself once I get chance to

  2. #2
    Aspiring Member Joni T's Avatar
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    Honesty is ALWAYS the best course with a wife. Sooner or later your "other side" WILL be discovered by your wife and the outcome won't be pretty. Her first thought will be "What else are you hiding from me" and then the "trust" thing will come up. Trust, once lost, is very, very difficult to regain--if ever. It might behoove you to give her the letter, or have a heart-to-heart with her. It's not a matter of "if" you'll ever be found out. It's simply a matter of "when".
    Jon

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    Member foxy bartender's Avatar
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    One thing to remember, Joey, the biggest thing that causes a relationship to fail, is lack of communication. You may succeed at hiding this side of you, but eventually, the lack of communication will break down something else, and you’ll be in a tough place. I’ve lost relationships over that, and learned to always be open about my feelings. It’s helped me find success in my relationship now, so, just my two cents

  4. #4
    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
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    Give her the letter! Be honest! You are supposed to be sharing your lives that is what marriage is! Do it sooner not later as it will start the "trust" thing going if done later! This is not going away! This can be dealt with if communication is open and honest! Therapy may be needed but maybe not! Best wishes going on! Hugs Lana Mae
    Life is worth living!
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  5. #5
    I accept myself as is Gillian Gigs's Avatar
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    Eventually you will slip up and the cat will get out of the bag. The time to tell is before children get into the mix. I am a firm believer of telling in an open and honest way, because it is better to do it on your terms than after a slip up. You say that your dressing has mostly been sexual, frankly unless you put an extreme effort into stopping, nothing will change. You might tell yourself that you could maybe stop, but her lingerie drawer will beckon to you continually. There is always the thrill of going deeper into the dressing and only you can place limits on how far you will go. Writing a letter is a good way of coming out to your wife, so do it and then be prepared to have some long chats.
    I like myself, regardless of the packaging that I may come in! It's what is on the inside of the package that counts!

  6. #6
    Silver Member Micki_Finn's Avatar
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    Hi Joey, welcome to the forum.

    What stood out to me was your question of “what would be the point of telling her?” The point of telling her is to be honest with her before she finds out on her own. You’re living together so she almost certainly will find out eventually and it will be much worse for you if she has to make the “discovery”. I understand that you fear her reaction, but it’s one of those lesser of two evils situations.

    Besides, of this is important enough to you that you don’t want to give it up, would you really want to live inauthentically the rest of your life? Always hiding something from your wife, lying to her, being terrified of her finding out? The purpose of a marriage is to bring happiness to both people, so you’ve gotta ask youself how happy you can be while forever in hiding.

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    Gold Member Jaylyn's Avatar
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    Joey only you know wether the time is right or if you should wait a while. I suggest though that when the time you feel is right do it with honesty and a humble but truthful heart. Remember if y'all are truly in love she will be accepting but might be shocked, scream and throw things ( just teasing) in reality though she might be shocked that this is happening. Be prepared to hold her hands look her in the eye and remind her she is the love of your life. Only you know when the time is right to let her know. Be sure to reassure her of your limits in the talk, I told my wife and told her this is something I've felt for sometimes and has really been with me since I was old enough to remember playing in my moms things. Remember to go slowly don't just blast it all out there but be honest with what you are feeling all the while asking what and how she is feeling about it. Y'all may have to do some give and take but do it in love for each other.

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    Hey Joey,

    I would like to talk to you before you tell her. I have some insight that can perhaps make it much easier on you when telling her.

    Colette

  9. #9
    prissy chic ellbee's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    And yes, this forum can be a great place, for all kinds of different reasons for all kinds of people with varying situations.


    Honestly, I would not give that letter to your wife. The reason I say that, is that it may very well catch her off-guard & simply overwhelm her. I would review it, and get rid of it discreetly, ASAP. Just my opinion, though.


    I believe you hit the nail on the head, on *why* you wrote it, in the first place: To see what you would say, and how it would feel saying it.

    Now that that's out of the way, however, you still need to tell her at some point. The sooner, the better.


    But I wouldn't drop the bomb on her all at once.

    For example, does she wear leggings/yoga pants? If so, the next time she does, say something like, "Wow, those sure do look comfortable!" -- and be sure to compliment her, too.

    And the following time she wears a pair, perhaps while the two of you are just chilling out at home together on a lazy Sunday? Say something like, "You know, those *really* look comfortable. Don't laugh, but I honestly wouldn't mind trying on a pair of yours sometime."

    I dunno, something like that?


    This way, you're basically easing into it, a little bit at a time. Not only to get a feeling of her reaction, but also for her to get accustomed to the idea. And hey, before you know it, she could very well be perfectly comfortable with you wearing 'em around the house. (It also helps if you have a nice butt & legs in those leggings, cuz some GG's do like that look on a guy! )

    Heck, it may even progress to a point where she's actually having a good time *buying* some for *you* -- and having you modelling them for her to see how well she did!


    Anyway, the main point is, I wouldn't necessarily dump the whole thing on her, all in one shot. Ripping the band-aid of slowly may be the better bet, in some cases?

    But this is just my opinion, FWIW.


    Oh, and be prepared for the questions & concerns: Are you gay/bi? Do you want to become a woman? Etc., etc.

    Make sure you know the honest answers ahead of time. And you may still need to reassure her every now & then, at that.


    I know it can be scary, and feel like the whole thing is on the line.

    But honestly? Some GG's are pretty chill with the whole CD'ing thing -- even if it's their BF/husband. Judging by your age, I'm assuming she's on the younger side of things, as well... So you definitely have that going for you, as the GG's of your generation may be more accepting of that.

  10. #10
    Aspiring Member Cheryl James's Avatar
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    I know this runs counter to what most say, but, honesty is great except when it isn't. I don't think there is a one size fits all answer to our problem. Just sayin'.

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    Hi Joey and welcome aboard!

    I won't advise you on whether or not to show your wife the letter, I can't add anything that hasn't already been said. One thing I have not seen addressed however is this. You are currently in a closet. If you choose to tell her that closet will be opened slightly... for you. She on the other hand will now be thrust into that very same space and may feel overwhelmed and alone. You now have someone to talk to and that can be a huge relief (it was was for me - I too was agonizing over whether or not to tell my wife when I got careless and she discovered my secret) but now your wife will be burdened with that secret and will have in a sense just traded places with you. The closet can be a suffocating and lonely place. Also keep in mind that you have had years to try to get your head around this and she is starting from ground zero.

    If you choose to tell her then just go slow and be totally open. I wish you the best, whatever your choice.

    Elizabeth

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the responses thus far. I see the importance of honesty and think it may override my fears. Also realizing perhaps a 5 page letter is a bit heavy to throw on her at once. I think there is something to be said for finding the right time, and easing her into the conversation. Then perhaps once the cat is out of the bag, giving her the letter...

    I appreciate the support so far

    [SIZE=1]- - - Updated - - -[/SIZE]

    Would love to hear it!

  13. #13
    Senior Member JocelynJames's Avatar
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    Hi Joey,
    Probably in the spectrum of things of most here, in my opinion you are coming to terms earlier than many of us. Only you know if it’s right or time to tell your wife. I don’t give advice here as every situation is slightly different. I told my wife 6 years ago.
    If you only knew the power of the pink fog! ~Joss

  14. #14
    Member Ariana225's Avatar
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    I'm much happier since I came out to my wife. I was also scared to tell her. She took it hard emotionally at first but then eventually she came around to thinking it's not as big of a deal as she thought at first.

    She is also young (25) and has been cultured around LGBT issues and is more accepting in general.

    She would agree that our relationship is better since I came out to her. It really brought us closer together.

  15. #15
    formerly: aBoyNamedSue IamWren's Avatar
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    JoeyGirl....
    I hesitate to offer any advice one way or the other. I mean, I'm just some dude on an internet forum. You are the one who knows your wife best and how you think she'll react.

    One thing I've seen here on the forum is that there can be many wives/girlfriends who are very progressive, perhaps are even allies of the LGBTQ community except when it's in their backyard.

    I have one like that. She is very left-leaning. Is quick to defend our lesbian nieces against ridicule. And she's quite open-minded about a lot of things. But in the past three or so years since I kind of backed up into dressing, I've put out little "feelers". If there is one thing that Caitlyn Jenner has done is she's created opportunity for dialogue and discussion. News articles about transgender folk being targeted, assaulted, disowned, etc. create an opportunity to learn more about each other.

    And I can tell you this....

    I will NEVER tell my wife about my dressing nor my introspection that has made me aware of my dual-gender/non-binary aspect of my being. She would NOT be able to handle it. She's open minded but her ability to grasp the concept of dual gender, two spirit, non-binary, genderqueer... whatever you want to call it, is not within her grasp. It would cause disruption to our marriage and to her.

    I wish you the best of luck and will at least advise you to give a sufficient amount of time thinking about this before telling your wife and subsequently burdening her with keeping your secret. I'm assuming you're not coming out as a crossdresser as well and thus will ask her to keep it a secret.
    Last edited by IamWren; 11-08-2017 at 05:18 PM.
    I am not a woman nor am I a man... I am an enby. Hi, I am Wren.

  16. #16
    Silver Member Becky Blue's Avatar
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    Joey, like others I am not going to give you an opinion on whether you should or should not tell, but as someone who has chosen not to tell my wife much my reasons are simple.. IF I tell her, why am I doing this? Will her life be better or worse with this knowledge? In my case given our relationship (which is very strong BTW) my choice is not to tell her much.

    Some will say the truth is more important than anything and for them that is the correct path, for others the selected path differs no two relationships are the same...

    The one bit of advice I will offer is to take a pause and wait before deciding anything, our emerging female sides can be quite a scary and emotional time, take it slow and remember you can't untell her so make sure if you do tell your certain its the right thing to do.
    A.K.A Rebecca & Bec

  17. #17
    happy to be her Sarah Doepner's Avatar
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    Joey, This is my story, Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV).

    I wrote letters and kept them to myself. As the years progressed so did the strength of my dysphoria. I held it close and in secret because I was afraid to tell her and reveal the person I actually was rather than the man she married. Life became complex with kids and aging parents and careers and I didn't want to put anything additional on her plate. Then she found out anyway. I had only a few moments to try and explain. I was fortunate and as she did her research she discovered that many of the traits she found attractive in me were representative of my feminine side. Big sigh of relief and we were able to discuss and set boundaries on what I was doing. My life became much easier as I didn't have the same burden to carry around but I was put on notice that if I was hiding anything else from her I might not get the same response. She expected honesty and it was much easier after than.

    It could have turned the other way. She might have decided that I was a lost soul and not worth investing an additional minute of her life. That's happened to others, we all live in a unique world.

    Best of luck as you attempt to determine what your crossdressing arc is and where the momentum will carry you. That may be the key to what you have to tell her.
    Sarah
    Being transgender isn't a lifestyle choice. How you deal with it is.

  18. #18
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    I agree with the last few statements about how 100% honesty is not necessarily the best answer. I actually wrote a thread not too long ago about how in my mind, getting caught could be a better option (got a lot of back-lash for it though lol). Anyway, I think it can really just depend what it means for you and how often you do it. I think if it's just something you can get away with doing only once or twice a month, then it really may not be necessary for you to tell anybody about it if you have a good place to stash our stuff (don't throw it out). But if it's something you feel you need to do more often or you feel it is becoming a large enough part of you, it would be a good idea to tell. It is a great feeling knowing your partner is accepting.

  19. #19
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    Thanks again everyone. Really great input from people who truly understand.

    I think I am still wondering how important it is for her to know. Its something I do in phases- the thoughts and urge arise, I act on them, and it goes away for a while. Ever since I was young, thats how its happened. Right now my desire to tell her is because of MY desire to just someone who knows me. Not just anyone, but my wife. I also wonder/hope if this is somehing she would be willing to pariticpate in with me sexually somehow. I can see how thaf may be selfish, however, and thus perhaps not the best reason(s) to tell her.

    On the other hand- having known her for 5 years now, I know she would opt to know everytbing about me. Her dad had a second daughter unbeknownst to her and her mom until she was in college. To be brief, I know she would be crushed to "find something out" about me later in life. Hoping Im not too late at this point, but if Im honest and explain how i havent been truly honest with myself, perhaps she will understand...

    Either way, I am going to take my time with this decision. Hopefully it can somewhoe come out naturally when I feel 100% confidence that she should know.

    Joey

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    I agree telling is best, very stressful hiding stuff its not worth it.

    One important consideration is who do you mind that she tells? If you dont want her to tell anyone is that really your choice? When i told my wife (gf at the time) she told her best mate and another friend, she wanted to talk to someone. I have been lucky neither have mentioned it since, but once the cat is out of the bag!

    So maybe when you tell her offer her to talk to a sister or best mate or at least be prepared.

    Feel free to PM me if you want to chat about anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyGirl1213 View Post
    I also wonder/hope if this is somehing she would be willing to pariticpate in with me sexually somehow. I can see how thaf may be selfish, however, and thus perhaps not the best reason(s) to tell her...
    I don't think it's selfish. I know from personal experience that some women love being sexual with their CD partner acting as the "woman" so I definitely wouldn't write it off. After my fiancé found out (I got caught btw) and we tried some "stuff" she actually admitted to me that she had always had lesbian fantasies and she was happy she could act them out with me. Yours might be the same! Who knows...

  22. #22
    Junior Member ShelleyTVUK's Avatar
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    Hi
    I recently came out to my wife about 6 weeks ago. I will probably write up the full story in a separate post but it went pretty well. I wrote a letter as well with the intention of reading it out to her so that I made sure I got all my points across but I pretty much broke down straight away and couldn't read it so she asked if she could read it. I definitely think its a good idea to have the letter for that reason alone. She took it really well and hugged and kissed me and said it was ok. She even went out and bought me some makeup and some underwear that day.

    Luckily I have been reading on these forums for a while and didn't let the so called "pink fog" set in and didn't get carried away. I told her I was very grateful and happy she took it well. Then the next day the inevitable full gravitas of the situation hit her and she has been struggling with it ever since. I can see she is trying though and that is really comforting. She has given me a saturday to dress and said she would text me when she was coming home. I took full advantage of the day and had a great time dressing after what seems ages. She was again pretty quiet for a few days because she knew I dressed that day and struggled with the images in her head. So it's still early days and DADT at the moment.

    My advice would be to make sure you have enough time to tell her with no kids or anyone around. Make sure she knows everything that you want to do so that there doesn't seem like there is a progression. What I mean by that is, don't tell her you like to dress in womens underwear and then a few months down the line you tell her you like to wear dresses and heels and then another month you say you want to wear makeup and wigs. I got it all out in the open that I wanted to look as passable as I could when I dressed. I also told her that I want to find a support group that I could go to where I could chat with other people like me while dressed and at some point go to organised events like "BNO" in London when I had more confidence. That is still all I want so in her eyes it doesn't seem like I am edging towards transitioning by constantly telling her new things.

    I think in time she will see it as the norm but I don't see her being involved in anyway which I am cool with. I don't need her to be involved if she doesn't want to. Maybe that will change over time but she will let me know if it does.

    I wish you the very best of luck and I echo other peoples "honest is the best policy" approach but I recognise that is easy to say once you have already told.

    Shelley
    xx

  23. #23
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    Hello Joey and welcome to the forum.

    I'm quite new to this forum too and I find it great to have a place where I can talk, but just as importantly listen. Like many others here, I can't advise you to tell, I can't advise you not to tell. For the record, I did tell but that was at the very start and we've now been together for over 30 years. However, I still remember that night when I said it. I knew that, even though we'd only been together for a short time, I had everything to lose.

    So, my thoughts are before you take any action think very deeply. And think about the worst things that can happen, not just to you, but to anyone and everyone involved. Yes, it can go well, but it can also go bad. And when, you're fully sure that you have considered all the consequences and what you can and can't live with, then you'll find that decision has been made already.

    All the best for whatever you decide. It's not an easy place to be, and I don't think that it's a place many of us actually chose to be. I know I didn't, but here I am

  24. #24
    Rural T Girl Teri Ray's Avatar
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    Hi Joey,

    Count me in the camp of recognizing that this decision is not an easy one and there is no one right answer that can be applied. I am in Sarah's camp with using my experience as an example. I shared many of your same feelings and fears with my desire to dress. For many years I believed I was slick enough and smart enough to hide all my tracks. Well.....as others have suggested my thinking was eventually proved wrong and I was caught. Having the discussion after being caught was very difficult and scary. After the first talk time passing without additional discussion seemed to cause the issue to fade (so I believed) and my wife and I fell into a don't ask don't tell situation (DADT). For several years I thought this was a mutually acceptable situation. Boy was I wrong. Eventually my wife again confronted me and we had another uncomfortable (for both of us) talk about my dressing. This final talk was certainly emotional, difficult and awkward for both of us. But after having this talk where maintaining secrets and avoiding real honest discussion were no longer in my agenda I learned that my wife feared the unknown details about my dressing more than the actual facts. For my wife and I it turned out that dealing with honest open facts, although not comfortable, was significantly better than her being left to imagine what my dressing was all about.

    Since that talk we have become much closer and share more, love more and have become happier. I feel so much better about being honest and open and I believe my wife, in the end, feels better with being able to share this desire with me. Having the big talk did not remove all the confusion and did not answer the "why do I desire to dress" question (heck I haven't been able to understand the reason). But I believe it has helped my wife and I find common understanding for how to best deal with this desire and find safe, appropriate boundaries and limits. In the end being honest for my wife and I was the right answer.

    As others have stated "one answer is not right for all"

    Best wishes to you and your wife. I hope whatever your decision things work out well for you.
    Teri Ray Rural Idaho Girl.

  25. #25
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    Joey,
    Welcome to the forum. You will find lots of resources here. I would suggest you spend some time looking at threads with similar questions and issues to the one you have posed.
    Your cross dressing journey sounds like that of so many of us here. Your desire to dress will become stronger over time and you will find that dressing completely is what you really want. It may take five years or it may take ten but I am sure you will end up with a strong desire to dress completely as a woman.
    Honesty is the best policy but before you talk to your wife make sure you understand as much as you can about yourself, your cross dressing journey and what you might ultimately desire. There are many good books that you could read and if you had access to a good counsellor I would encourage you to make use of that. But do find one who is experienced in this field.
    One day she will find out and so the question you must ask yourself is whether you want to be a part of that discovery and help it to a good conclusion or do you want to be a more or less helpless bystander as your wife begins to think of all sorts of possible outcomes and becomes scared and angry.

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